HC Deb 08 July 1996 vol 281 c52W
Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the forthcoming finance, management and policy review of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee. [36400]

Mr. Gummer

As part of the Government's programme of regular five-yearly financial management and policy reviews of non-Departmental public bodies my Department will conduct a thorough review of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee. The first stage of this review takes the form of a prior options study. This will assess the extent to which the committee's functions are necessary for the achievement of the Government's policies, and whether there is scope for privatising, contracting out or transferring all or part of its functions to another body.

The work of the committee, both past and anticipated, will be examined and the results of that examination and of the prior options study will inform a detailed review of the committee's structure and operation.

To minimise the uncertainty that the prior options study will cause, I expect that study to be completed within three months. The time required for the more detailed review cannot be foreseen, but I expect it to last no longer than a further three months.

In carrying out the study, my Department will seek the views of those with an interest in the committee's work, including the regulatory authorities, other Government Departments, the nuclear industry, representatives of non-nuclear users of radioactivity, other advisory committees and non-governmental organisations.